The Canadian Aviation Moments were submitted by Dennis Casper from the Roland Groome (Regina) Chapter of the CAHS. Spoiler alert - if you read any further than each question, you will find the answer to the questions directly below. Good luck and have fun!

The Canadian Aviation Moments questions and answers for October are:

Question: What was the purpose of the Crimson Route and why was it named that?

Answer: “With the Lend-Lease Act passed by the American Congress and signed by President Franklin Roosevelt early in 1941, the United States assumed an active part in the joint effort with Canada to take advantage of the “stepping stones” provided by the Canadian Prairies, Newfoundland, Labrador, Greenland and Iceland thus making possible the ferrying of short-range aircraft from North America to Great Britain via chain of airfields following a northern route. This joint project became known as the “Crimson Route “ project. This chain of proposed airfields initially was called the North-East Staging Route, but became known as the Crimson Route – purportedly named after crimson symbol of the Red Cross, which was responsible for evacuating wounded soldiers from the European theatre to North American along the same route.”

Source: Windsock – November 2010 – Page 1

Question: What was SAGE and what was its function in NORAD?

Answer: “SAGE has been described as the most ambitious computer project ever undertaken.” “More than 800 programmers and the technical resources of many of America’s largest corporations were involved in its development and construction. The result was the AN/FSQ7 computer built by IBM – as it turned out, the largest computer ever built. North Bay’s SAGE system comprised two 270 ton AN/FSQ-7 computers, nicknamed “Bonnie and Clyde.” One was a backup in the event the other went off-line. Both were located in an underground facility which officially opened in Oct 1963. SAGE facilities processed raw air surveillance data and then forwarded it to Air Defence Command Units.”

Source: Air Force Revue – Spring 2008 – Page 34

Question: What aircraft has the longest service record of the RCAF/Canadian Forces and how long did it serve? How did this particular aircraft begin its life?

Answer: “… a true and loyal friend of Canada’s air force for the next 49 years, breaking the long-service record of the magnificent DC-3 “Gooney Bird” transport.” “The T-Bird ended its career with the RCAF and the Canadian Forces in Apr 2002. It began life as the P-80 Shooting Star (the United States’ first operational jet fighter), then was stretched, fitted with an additional seat and a huge canopy, renamed the T-33 (Silver Star in Canada) and built under license by Canadair.”

Source: Air Force Revue – Spring 2008 – Page 9